Dr. Loosen Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Kabinett 2005

It has taken a while to get a German wine up at Full Pour, which is odd because I’m a bit of a fan, and Chris is a Germanophile and fluent speaker of the language (I’m sure he will forgive me for spilling a few of his secrets). I guess I don’t buy as many as I should; the story of all Riesling perhaps, not just the German variety. In any case, here we have a slightly older release from the 2005 vintage, by all accounts a rather good one in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (or simply Mosel, as the region is now known).
A colour that shows no signs of age as yet — still pale and fresh with a slightly greenish tint. The nose really is impressive at first sniff. Well defined aromas of slate, talc, citrus flowers and fuller, more tropical fruit all emerge from the glass. It’s an instant “wow” wine, not through an excess of impact, rather because of its intrinsic complexity and attractiveness. The nose faded a little through the evening.
On entry, initially a very tight, coiled experience, with chalky acidity serving to attenuate the wine’s line quite prematurely. This resolved itself quickly, though, and the wine struck its true balance within about half an hour. There is rich, primary fruit on the mid palate, rather honeysuckle-like but with a prominent slatey, mineral dimension too. Complexity isn’t quite at the same level as shown on the nose, but the fruit character is multi-dimensional and jumps between richness, slate and lighter, powdery florals. For its part, the acidity never quite integrates as seamlessly as one would like. It continues to jut out a bit, being both a little rough and a little isolated at the same time. Imagine someone singing a song by yelping once, loudly, as opposed to maintaining a melodic line through the whole piece. This acid character prevents the wine from achieving a truly sophisticated balance, and the fruit ends up cloying ever so slightly. Despite this, there’s an undeniably impressive, long finish to the wine.
Not entirely satisfying, then, but still a lot to enjoy. I wonder if the acidity will play off against the fruit better with a little more bottle age. I’ll leave one or two in the cellar to find out.
Dr LoosenPrice: $A35Closure: StelvinDate tasted: June 2008

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